By: Tanja Brkić / Nova 24TV
After numerous accusations of irregularities related to the election of Milan Brglez, former President of the National Assembly, to the position of President of the Slovenian Chess Federation (ŠZS), the portal Siol already checked last year how things are with his pre-election promises and at what stage is the pre-trial procedure, which is directed by the Ljubljana State Prosecutor’s Office, to which we also sent questions about this, but we have not yet received answers. Brglez still claims that he did not condition the funds on election.
Before SD MEP Milan Brglez became president of the Slovenian Chess Federation, according to media reports at the time, in the spring of 2019, at the election general assembly, he supposedly convinced the delegates of chess clubs about his election with the sponsorship of the state company Slovenske železnice (SŽ). The signing of a four-year sponsorship contract between ŠZS and SŽ in the amount of 200,000 euros is said to be conditional upon his election.
Milan Brglez and Sašo Čačič were candidates. 67 delegates voted in a secret ballot. Milan Brglez received 42 votes, while Sašo Čačič received 25. The latter said at the time that he would withdraw from the candidacy if the sponsorship contracts, which should be signed for the next term, exclude him as a possible president and are tied only to Brglez’s election, whereby he was referring to SŽ, wrote Siol. Before the vote itself, Čačič allegedly had a heated verbal duel with former interior minister and general secretary of Drnovšek’s government, Mirko Bandelj, who was vice-president of the Chess Federation at the time and wanted to keep Čačič in the leadership, but nothing came of it in the end.
Brglez’s pre-trial proceedings are in the hands of the Ljubljana State Prosecutor’s Office
Initially, the alleged conditioning of Brglez was investigated by the anti-corruption commission of the CPC, but the case was handed over to the Ljubljana Public Prosecutor’s Office when it found that it was not within its jurisdiction, as it was not an irregularity or violation of the law on integrity and prevention of corruption, but an alleged criminal act on the side of those involved. Thus, the case was taken over by the police, who, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act, cannot provide answers related to specific natural persons, but according to Siol, they announced that Brglez’s pre-trial proceedings are in the hands of the Ljubljana State Prosecutor’s Office. We asked if the case had an epilogue or not. We have not received any answers to this moment.
Although Brglez said at the recent presidential meeting that he had no part in negotiating and concluding the sponsorship contract, as the sponsorship contract was concluded before he himself became president of the Slovenian Chess Federation, after Brglez’s election the federation received three times more sponsorship money.
Namely, Siol wrote that Nina Rob, secretary general of the ŠZS, confirmed that the ŠZS received significantly less sponsorship funds before Brglez’s election (6,000 euros in 2015, 20,000 euros in 2016, 15,000 euros in 2017, 21,000 euros in 2018), and after his election the funds tripled. Thus, ŠZS received 74,555 euros in 2019, 61,938 euros in 2020, and 70,000 euros of revenue was planned for 2021.
The sponsorship contract was concluded two days before Brglez’s election
According to the general secretary of the ŠZS, from 2018 to last year, they received a total of 190,330 euros in sponsorship funds. Of this, 125,000 euros from SŽ, and an interesting fact should be mentioned, namely that the sponsorship agreement between SŽ and ŠZS was signed already on March 28th, 2019, i.e., just two days before Brglez’s election to the presidency. As we were informed by SŽ, the above contract was published in ZDIJZ on March 31st, 2019. “The contract is concluded for a period of four years, namely from April 1st, 2019, to March 31st, 2023,” they stated in SŽ, reported Siol.